Love, John (1695-1750) (DNB00)

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LOVE, JOHN (1695–1750), grammarian and controversialist, born at Dumbarton in July 1695, was son of John Love, bookseller and stationer. After completing his studies at the university of Glasgow, he became usher to his old master at Dumbarton grammar school, and was appointed his successor in 1721. Among his pupils was Smollett. He acted as clerk of the presbytery of Dumbarton from 1717 to 1733, but within that period was subjected to a curious species of persecution by his minister, Archibald Sydserf, on the ground of brewing on a Sunday. The charge broke down on being investigated in the church court, and Sydserf was compelled to make a formal apology. In October 1736 Love was appointed a master of the high school, Edinburgh. In 1737, with the assistance of Thomas Ruddiman and Robert Hunter, a master of Heriot's Hospital, he published an edition of Buchanan's Latin version of the 'Psalms,' which coming under the notice of the Duke of Buccleuch obtained for him in October 1739 the rectorship of Dalkeith grammar school. Love died at Dalkeith on 20 Sept. 1750. He was married twice, first in 1722 to Elizabeth, daughter of Archibald Campbell, surgeon, of Glasgow, by whom he had thirteen children.

In 1733 Love issued from Ruddiman's printing establishment in Edinburgh 'Two Grammatical Treatises, viz.: I. Animadversions on the Latin Grammar lately published by Mr. Robert Trotter, Schoolmaster at Dumfries. II. A Dissertation upon the way of teaching that Language, wherein the Objections raised against Mr. Ruddiman's and other such like Grammars are answered.' Appended are some anonymous 'Critical Remarks' by Ruddiman on the Latin grammar and literal translations composed by John Clarke, the Hull schoolmaster. In 1740 Love took a prominent part in the controversy regarding the comparative merits of Johnston and Buchanan as Latin poets and translators of the 'Psalms.' Love defended Buchanan, and vigorously attacked Lauder the editor of Johnston, in two published 'Letters' [see Lauder, William, d. 1771]. The controversy ultimately severed Love's friendship with Ruddiman. In May 1749 Love published anonymously 'A Vindication of Mr. George Buchanan, in two parts,' 8vo, Edinburgh, which produced in the ensuing July a pamphlet in reply from Ruddiman. When Love died, Ruddiman wrote a sympathetic notice of him in the 'Caledonian Mercury.'

[Irving's Dumbartonshire, 2nd edit. p. 287; Anderson's Scottish Nation, ii. 700; Cat. of Advocates'Library; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen, ii. 545.]

G. G.